NiGHTS Into Dreams HD

PLATFORMS: Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC

NiGHTS Into Dreams HD

By far the most adventurous game to grace the wonderful, if short-lived, Sega Saturn console, NiGHTS Into Dreams, is now back on the download platforms. When we say ‘adventurous,’ that doesn’t mean this is an adventure game, by the way. If you missed NiGHTS the first time around, get ready for the weirdest ride of your gaming life.

This is a direct remake of the original, it should be pointed out, and not a new addition to the franchise. What it does offer is an exact duplicate only with new, enhanced, widescreen graphics. Sound cheap to you? Well, stick with us.

When NiGHTS first arrived, it astonished in a way that hadn’t been seen since Sonic the Hedgehog, thanks to its utterly bizarre setting and gameplay, that really did feel like swimming in a dream. You play as one of two children who enter a dream world where the eponymous character, NiGHTS, flies around topsy-turvy dreamscapes collecting links. The boss battles are waiting at the end of each level with equally fantastical events to leave you wondering if you actually just played a game, or fell asleep with a controller in your hand.

Because of its inherent originality and seductive charm, NiGHTS Into Dreams HD is just as great as it was in 1996. Even if you played the hell out of the original Saturn version, this is still a good buy as you’ve got an analogue controller by default (a separate, and rather expensive analogue controller was available for NiGHTS back then, which most of us didn’t own) and it saves you the effort of hooking up the old console to your new LCD TV.

The Saturn version is included in the package if you want to experience the pixels and square screen once again, and you’ve also got the bonus Christmas NiGHTS levels thrown in, which were released as a magazine freebie in 1997.

If you loved it last century, you’ll love NiGHTS Into Dreams HD even more now. If you’ve never played it before, or even heard of it, there’s no better time to find out why Sega still holds a place in every aging gamer’s heart.

RATING: 8.5/10